We do not expect your child to know all the letters of the alphabet or be able to write sentences when they start school. However, it would be very helpful if they were aware of rhyming skills and the sounds that some words begin with. Sharing songs and books with them is a really good way to support this. Encourage your child to enjoy looking at books or other forms of text, such as comics, posters or postcards.
Helping your child to recognise their own name is also very useful. Play 'Name Treasure Hunts' around the house by writing your child's name on pieces of paper and hiding them around the house for them to find. Help your child to look carefully at each letter in their name.
Work on your child's fine motor skills as this will help them when it comes to holding a pencil correctly. Great ways to do this are by threading beads and buttons, or pasta onto a string to make a necklace. Weaving wool around strips of card or bits of card through each other are other simple activities which would also help develop fine motor skills. Cutting and sticking in arts and crafts further strengthens their hand control.
If your child is interested, encourage them to mark make and write their name or simple words or to create pieces of artwork. Celebrate their efforts.